Ms. Marvel: How have the newest MCU hero’s powers changed for the Disney+ series?

. 3 weeks ago
Ms Marvel waving while surrounded by lights
Marvel/Disney+

Ms. Marvel is coming to Disney+ this week, but some changes have been made to the superhero’s powers.

Fans are getting incredibly excited for the newest MCU hero on the block. In this case, it’s Ms. Marvel, a high school girl from New Jersey who admires Captain Marvel and wants to follow in her footsteps, becoming a hero in her own right along the way.

Ms. Marvel will set a precedent as Marvel’s first on-screen Muslim superhero, as well as being one of the few female and teenage main characters in a Marvel project.

The show seems to be bringing the comic to life spectacularly; with its bright colors and fun art style that perfectly fit the imaginative world of Ms. Marvel, who is also known as Kamala Khan.

However, like every adaptation, there are some changes. And for the upcoming Disney+ series, one of the biggest changes seems to be the hero’s powers.

How have Ms. Marvel’s powers changed for Disney+?

Ms. Marvel’s powers, as they are in the comics, are given a descriptive explanation on Fandom: “She possesses latent Inhuman lineage activated by the Terrigen Bomb. When she was exposed to the Terrigen Mist she became a polymorph with the ability to stretch her body in almost any way imaginable.”

Ms Marvel stands proudly in her comic book
Marvel
The Ms. Marvel comic books are beloved

But in the show, things are different. According to Decider, Khan “is no longer a size-and-shape-changing Inhuman. Instead, she has a brand new powerset that sets her apart from her comic book origins.

“Now Ms. Marvel can manipulate purple-hued light that turns into a super strong crystalline structure with but a thought.”

Khan’s powers now unlocked from a mysterious bangle that has been passed down in her family, rather than through an otherworldly mist.

So far, her change in powers has not resulted in any massive outcry from fans, though some may lament how the puberty subtext that her previous powers represented – being that her physicality was changing in size, and often she could be grossed out be her own body – will not be present in the show.

Plus, while her powers – which strike a resemblance to Captain Marvel’s – help emphasise how much she wishes to emulate the older superhero, it potentially leaves Ms. Marvel lacking in individuality.

Why have Ms Marvel’s powers changed for Disney+?

According to Ms. Marvel head writer Bisha K. Ali, and series executive producer – and Kamala Khan co-creator – Sana Amanat, there’s plenty of reason behind the change in Ms. Marvel’s powers.

The main issue is that Khan’s backstory in the comics has not really been established in the MCU. As Ali states: “Bearing in mind that we’re doing a show for the MCU, which is 10 years of a web of storytelling, but we’re fitting into [a world that’s] fundamentally different from the one in the comics.”

Ms Marvel sat at a table showing her powers
Marvel/Disney+
Ms. Marvel will deal with themes of family and identity

In the comics, Khan’s powers and the mist that triggered them were created during another super-team’s storyline, one following the Inhumans. However, after the failed Inhumans ABC series in 2017, the MCU has basically ignored them. So without the Inhumans in the MCU, Ms. Marvel inevitably had to get her powers another way.

As for the bangle, while some may call it a Green Lantern knockoff, it actually has a lot of thematic significance. As Amanat argues: “Bisha, our head writer, and her wonderful team of writers, they pulled from the comic that idea of the bangle, which is also connected to her family and the fact that it was passed down and it meant something.

“To me that was so beautiful, because ultimately this story is one about identity. And linking the bangle to her family and to the root of her power is a really powerful statement.”

Should fans be nervous about Ms. Marvel’s change in powers?

While such a stark change may be jarring, Marvel has proven that it can handle big leaps before.

As stated by Decider: “Pretty much all of Marvel’s superheroes have had to undergo a few tweaks in order to make their big screen debut. Maybe Thor doesn’t need to swap places with a human doctor. Maybe we don’t need to see Uncle Ben die again. Maybe Drax doesn’t need to be a mustachioed human saxophone player who, upon suffering fatal injuries in a car accident, had his consciousness transplanted into a humanoid killing machine carved out of Earth’s soil.

“This is the magic of Marvel Studios: they know how to streamline characters so that they don’t carry a bunch of outdated baggage from the 1960s and still appeal to lifelong superfans.”

Ultimately, until the show is fully released, we may not be able to see the full extent of Khan’s powers and how they have changed. Perhaps the bangle will give her some stretching powers as well.

Either way, here’s hoping that Ms. Marvel’s new abilities will affect the series marvel-lously, rather than poorly.

Ms. Marvel will premiere on Disney+ on June 8.

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